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Why does the hydrogen ion move to the front of the formula and not to the subscript of the H already in the formula?

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The first one is preferred since its makes it easy to see that it has a carboxyl group and a methyl group, so its easier to draw the Lewis structure and figure out the molecule's properties. For example, from the first formula one can see that it is an acid. However, its more difficult to figure that out from the second one.

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  • $\begingroup$ I would not call either formula preferred; see my answer to the duplicate question. $\endgroup$ – Jan Feb 13 '17 at 22:47

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